German Equity Partners V ("GEP V" or the "Fund"), a fund managed by the independent German investment company ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH ("ECM"), has acquired a majority stake in the newly created Education Holding GmbH ("Education Group"), based in Ludwigsburg. GEP V acquired the majority of the shares from the companies' founders, who together with ECM intend to continue their successful development with combined forces as Education Group. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or further details of the transaction.
Initial focus: mobility sector
Today, Education Group focuses on the mobility sector. Education Group operates three business units: (i) driving license training for beginner drivers, (ii) basic and advanced training programs for professional drivers, and (iii) basic and advanced training programs for driving instructors.
In the area of driving license training for beginners, the Education Group operates under the brand name ACADEMY. Throughout Germany, driving students can complete their theoretical and practical training for all driving license classes at ACADEMY. The brand ACADEMY stands for quality, experience and innovative teaching concepts and thus offers students a unique and efficient license training experience. In addition, ACADEMY trains professional drivers. The range of courses is comprehensive. The extended service offer also includes ACADEMY's mobile training force, which conducts training courses for professional drivers on-site at the customer's premises to provide the customer and the employees with an efficient training process. The training program includes, for example, individual driving style training to sustainably reduce fuel consumption and wear and tear, as well as other subsidized advanced training programs. The plan is to dynamically expand the branch network in partnership with longstanding franchisees and with its own locations, and to constantly modernize the service offering through the use of technology and digital content.
Independently from this, the Education Group trains driving instructors. DVPI is an independent training institute for the German driving instructor sector with currently four locations. The market environment is characterized by a continuing shortage of driving instructors and increasing regulatory requirements. In this context, DVPI is a strong partner for the entire industry. The management of DVPI plans to further improve the added value for its customers by expanding the locations and the range of services throughout Germany.
Future: Expansion of the educational offering
Based on decades of expertise in the education sector and starting from today's core, Education Group plans to further expand its product offering. Customers will be offered more comprehensive services, making Education Group an important actual and potential partner for professional education and training in the mobility sector.
ECM systematically supports the implementation of the growth strategy
"The current dynamics in the industry offer interesting opportunities. With the Education Group, motivated entrepreneurs have joined forces to roll out the best education and training concept for the vehicular mobility sector nationwide. ECM will support the development of the Education Group and the management team in the implementation of the growth strategy", commented Florian Thelenberg, Partner at ECM.
GEP V was advised on this transaction by Kasper Knacke (legal), Ebner Stolz (finance and tax), Milbank (structuring and financing) and Codex Partners (market due diligence). The transaction was financed by a consortium led by Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen as mandated lead arranger. Responsible for the transaction at ECM are Florian Thelenberg, Fabian Hentges and Vanessa Crescencio Trageser.
About Education Group (“Education”)
Leading education and training institutes with a focus on the mobility sector join forces as the Education Group. Today, Education Group operates three business units - driving license training for novice drivers (ACADEMY), basic and advanced training for professional drivers (ACADEMY) and basic and advanced training for driving instructors (DVPI). The group is active at more than 400 own and franchise locations. The Education Group has its headquarters in Ludwigsburg (near Stuttgart).
Further information at: www.academy-fahrschulen.de, www.dvpi.de
About ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM”)
ECM is a trusted growth partner for mid-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs in German-speaking Europe. Since 1995, ECM has raised the private equity funds GEP I-V with aggregate equity commitments of more than €1 billion and currently invests out of the fifth fund GEP V (€325 million). The funds invest primarily in leading mid-market companies with attractive growth potential in the context of ownership successions, partnership transactions and corporate spin-offs.
Further information at: www.ecm-pe.de